Research conducted by the organiser of Shambala Festival into behavioural changes following the festival’s decision in 2016 to go meat and fish free have been revealed.

According to Shambala’s organising team, the “bold and brave move” to banish meat and fish from the festival in a bid to reduce the environmental impacts of the event have inspired festivalgoers to significantly change their diets.

An audience survey conducted immediately after the 2016 event found that 52 per cent of festivalgoers, who said that they ate meat and fish, stated they had changed their diet as a result of the festival experience. The follow-up survey results, published seven months on, show that in total 76 per cent of the people making a change to their diet were still going strong. Of those, nearly 40 per cent had sustained a “drastic reduction” in their meat and fish intake and a further 36 per cent had reduced meat and fish intake a little.

At Shambala Festival 2016, the organiser was careful to provide a wide variety of vegetarian food styles and a new venue was created – called the Garden O’Feeden – which hosted talks and debates about food and its impact on the environment.

Three weeks after the event, festivalgoers were surveyed to find out whether anyone had been inspired to change their diets – 52 per cent of meat and fish eaters reported changing their diets.

Festival organiser, Chris Johnson commented: “We are really encouraged by the findings. We don’t profess to have all the answers, but we feel it’s important to promote discussion on the difficult issues of our time. Food is emotive, complex and plays a significant role in our future.”

Image: Carolina Faruolo